Who Invented Matches?

In the 19th century, something remarkable happened in England as the people for the first time witnessed the creation of controllable light and heat on demand. They were very impressed with the matches as they gave them the ability to create and light up fire quickly, without any struggle. It also helped in reducing the time required to start up the fire.

The story behind the safety matches is that of an industrialist striking workers, unlikely saviors, and one where the mass media campaigns focused only on the terrible industrial injuries as a result of its production. It took many sacrifices and lots of struggle for matches to be made safely the way it is now.

On the negative side, it brought unimaginable suffering to the matchmakers. This is because one of the substances used in the making of the friction match was white phosphorus, and its prolonged exposure gave many of the workers the “Phossy Jaw” disease destroying the bones of the jaw. This was mainly why people were against the production of matches in the first place.


Matches were invented by a British pharmacist named John Walker in 1826. He invented it by accident while working on an experimental paste that could be used in guns. Walker made an important discovery when he scraped the wooden instrument he was using to mix the substances in his paste, and it caughtfire.

With a minimum amount of effort, he produced a flammable paste with antimony sulfide, potassium chlorate, and Arabicgum, into which he dipped the cardboard strips coated with sulfur. After some time, he started selling it to the locals in April 1827 and, as a result, quickly became popular.

Bryant & May’s Safety Matches

The two friends and merchants named Francis May and William Bryant formed a partnership in 1843 to import matches before manufacturing them. Later on, they set up a factory to produce matches locally, and that was the only one factory that was set up for producing matches. It was the “Bryant & May’s Safety Matches.”

Lucifer Matches

Originally the matches they made were like the Lucifer matches, an invention made by Sir Isaac Holden MP. SirIsaac Holden got tired of using flint and stone to light his lamps. He became interested in the explosive properties of the newly discovered chemical inventions, which he thought was a good alternative to look into and invest in.

Hence he decided to make something that could easily light up the fire without any effort, and hence the modern-day matches came into existence.

Matches – Handy Tools

Matches are one of the most underappreciated and useful tools that we have today. They benefit us in so many ways if used correctly. You can carry matches with you anywhere and create fire easily. They’re small, long-lasting, and easy to buy and carry.